The Lady Chargers saw their season come to an end on Saturday night in a 4-0 loss to the Jackson South Side Lady Hawks.
 
Covington (30-10) ran into senior pitcher Kayla Beaver, a signee with D-1 Central Arkansas. She allowed singles to Brinley Cousar, Kalynn Howard, Brooke Johnson and McKenzie Richardson while walking two and striking out six. It was the fifth straight season Covington lost in the sectional round.
 
"We had a couple of opportunities," said head coach Justus Cousar, "but we did not take advantage and put the hits together."
 
Leah Beasley took the loss for the Lady Chargers, going five innings giving up three runs on seven hits with a walk and four strikeouts. Lauren Vickery closed the final two innings. She surrendered a run on two hits with a walk and two strikeouts. 
 
Tennessee signee Jessie Willingham provided all the firepower that the Lady Hawks needed on offense. She was stranded at third after a first-inning triple. An RBI single in her next at bat with a runner at second gave South Side a 1-0 lead.
 
Willingham added insurance on her next trip to the plate, popping a two-run homer for a 3-0 South Side lead. Cousar chose to intentionally walk her with a runner aboard on her last trip to the plate.
 
"The thing is," Cousar said, "her defense is better than her offense."
 
Cousar said he is optimistic about the future.
 
"This has been a good year. We are headed in the right direction. Seven of nine starters return next season. We lose Brooke Johnson but have experienced pitching coming back with Leah Beasley and Lauren Vickery. I am proud of what we accomplished and proud of the team. Our fans and parents have been so supportive and are appreciated more than we can put into words. We have to take the next step and win that elusive sectional game."

Jeff Ireland is The Leader's sports editor. To contact him, call 901-476-7116 or email jireland@covingtonleader.com.​

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